There is one word which I despise most, and it’s not even considered a profanity, but to me it may as well be. When I hear someone use the word “Can’t” it brings up instant feelings of anger and disgust. I think the word “Can’t” is a cop-out, cowards use this word when they don’t want to put in the extra effort, when things get too hard people will use this word. “I just can’t go any further”…If you are a member of a team and you use this word, you are not only letting yourself down, but the whole team. And what’s even worse is when we allow our kids to get away with using this word…”Can’t” should never be part of their vocabulary.
In my humble opinion the word “Can’t” is one of the most damaging words in the English language. I see children use this word all the time. “I can’t do that”…”I’m so tired I can’t pick that up”…”I can’t do this, you do it for me.” So at a young age children learn that this word gets them out of their responsibilities, it gets expectations lowered so things are easier for them. As parents you should help your children learn early in life that “Can’t” doesn’t work, show them that you expect more from them, it will help them grow to be stronger person and one willing to see difficult things through until it’s finished.
I say we should all make a pledge to never use the word “Can’t” again. And as a parent never use it around your kids, it’s almost as bad as cussing in front of them. How many times have you heard someone say they “Can’t” do something, before they even gave it a try? To me this is a sign of laziness, it’s a cop-out. I would rather someone just be upfront and honest and tell me they “Don’t” want to do something rather than saying they “Can’t.” At least I would have more respect for you.
Getting back to the kids, sometimes as parents we are guilty of using the word “Can’t” even when we are simply trying to teach our kids a simple lesson, like for their safety…”Hey Pete, you can’t play in the middle of the road”…”No Nate, you can’t jump off the balcony!”…”No Staci, you can’t shave the cat’s hair off.” Even though we are simply trying to teach our kids the basics of what’s acceptable and what’s not, they are learning a quick and easy way to get out of doing things they don’t want to do.
We as parents should practice simple rewording like “Sure Pete you can play in the middle of the road, If you want to be hit by a truck”….”Okay Nate, you can jump off the balcony if you want to get hurt and have to go to the hospital” and “Staci, if you want to shave the cat you first have to let me shave your head.” I actually think this way of explaining things to your kids is better because it gives a possible consequence for their actions.
Now since the chances are pretty slim that the word “Can’t” will ever be removed from the English language, we can take steps to remove it from our daily lives and most of all our children’s lives. After all it is pretty frustrating to see a child who “Potentially” could do brilliant things with their lives, stifle themselves by claiming that they “Can’t” do something. And I use the term “Potentially” because there’s no real way of knowing exactly how brilliant they could be if they aren’t willing to do anything in the first place.
So remember next time you hear your kid use “Can’t” stop them! Let them know they aren’t allowed to use that word anymore and explain why…Because it is a cop-out, and you know they are better than that, they just need to prove it to themselves by doing the things they thought they couldn’t achieve.